The Race for Connecticut
By Dillon Dias, Special to the Live Wire
The Connecticut primary will be held Tuesday, April 26 and this time around the state’s delegates will prove crucial to those still in the race.
“Connecticut’s April 26 primary is usually held too late in the primary season to make an impact on the race. But not this year,” according to an article by CT Mirror reporter Ana Radelat published April 6.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will duke it out on the Democratic side, while Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and businessman Donald Trump fight for the Republican nomination. It is a closed primary, meaning you must be registered with a party, not as an independent, in order to cast a vote.
Connecticut’s Democratic primary will be offering 55 pledged delegates. The Democratic nominee must obtain 2,383 delegates overall, in order to win the nomination. The G.O.P. has 28 delegates to offer. The magic number for Republicans is 1,237. The acquisition of delegates will be proportional to the votes received in both primaries, as opposed to winner take all or winner take most, said Angelo Messore, who teaches political science at Manchester Community College.
“Connecticut’s delegates may not be what decides who gets the nomination, but I think it will influence the broader dynamics of the race in both parties,” said Paul Petterson, who is chairman of the political science department at Central Connecticut State University.
Clinton claimed a decisive 18-point victory in the New York primary April 20, but the Sanders campaign doesn’t show any signs of letting up. Clinton picked up 139 delegates, while Sanders managed to snag 106, bringing the total pledged delegate count to 1,446 for Clinton and 1,200 for Sanders.
The Sanders campaign is calling for an investigation for “voter irregularities” due to more than 100,000 Democratic voters being removed from the party and unable to cast a vote. The board of elections said the removal was a “maintenance purge,” according to an article on CNN.com by Gregory Krieg on posted April 20.
“It is absurd that in Brooklyn, New York, where I was born, actually, tens of thousands of people as I understand it, have been purged from the voting rolls,” Sanders said during a campaign rally at Penn State University.
Trump mopped up the floor in New York with 60.4 percent of the vote, picking up 89 delegates. Kasich received 4 delegates, while Cruz received none.
Trump currently has a plurality of the votes, but he still needs to reach 1,237 in order to obtain the nomination. If Trump does not pick up the required amount of delegates, there will be a brokered convention in the summer, where it may be possible the Republican establishment will attempt to deny Trump the nomination. In the first ballot of the convention, many delegates are required to vote for their initial candidate they were assigned to, but in a second ballot many delegates become unbound and may vote for any candidate.
“I’m increasingly optimistic that there will actually be a second ballot,” said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell in an interview with an ABC affiliate station on April 18.
Clinton is looking to carry her momentum from her victory in New York into the April 26 primaries in which 462 delegates are at stake in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
All of the candidates have made some attempts to campaign in Connecticut. Clinton will be hosting a private fundraising event on April 24 in Stamford, according to the Connecticut Post. Sanders has opened a campaign office at 30 Arbor Street in Hartford, and Clinton has opened her campaign headquarters on Albany Avenue in Hartford. Trump held a rally in Hartford April 15 and plans are in the works for another. Kasich has opened up offices in Fairfield, Westbrook, and Southington.
On the G.O.P. side, Trump has a significant 24-point lead over Kasich heading into the Connecticut primary, according to an Emerson poll taken on April 10-11.
He appeals to a variety of voters, but Sanders has his fans too.
“I’m 120 percent for Bernie,” said Jon Maidment, a Manchester Community College student. “After the first debate, I was captivated by Sanders. I believe Clinton is not as genuine as Sanders, and I will certainly be voting for Sanders.”
Recent polls have shown that many G.O.P. millennial voters support Trump over Kasich and Cruz.
The deadline to register to vote online was April 21. You may still register in person to your town clerk or registrar until 12:00 noon on the last business day before a primary. For more information about registering to vote visit https://voterregistration.ct.gov/OLVR/welcome.do.